Philippines: 10 million people in the path of Mangkhut

Typhoon Mangkhut is forecast to pack maximum winds of 230kph by Sept 14 2018 before gradually weakening

Typhoon Mangkhut is forecast to pack maximum winds of 230kph by Sept 14 2018 before gradually weakening

Super Typhoon Mangkhut, known as Super Typhoon Ompong in the Philippines, is now equivalent to a category 5 Atlantic hurricane, with winds of at least 252 kilometers per hour (157 mph), stronger than Florence, which is expected to cause massive flooding and devastation in the Carolinas.

Whereas, the Mangkhut is already considered strong typhoon by the CWB and it has more open ocean to continue to strengthen than Florence.

Classified by the Hong Kong Observatory as a super typhoon, Mangkhut accelerated while slightly weakening to maximum winds of 240 kilometers per hour compared with 250 kilometers per hour earlier on Thursday.

Authorities said some 10 million people in the Philippines are in the storm's path, not including millions more in heavily-populated coastal China.

The storm's current path has it passing through the Luzon Strait between the Philippines and southern Taiwan, before continuing on to Hong Kong and Macau.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Centre in Hawaii categorized the storm as a super typhoon with powerful winds and gusts.

"As Mangkhut has a large circulation with intense winds, it will pose considerable threat to the coast of Guangdong", according to the Hong Kong Observatory.

NHC Forecast: Hurricane Florence is rapidly strengthening
In Holden Beach, North Carolina , in the storm's path, longtime residents were boarding up homes and securing possessions. The last Category 4 storm to hit the Carolinas was Hugo, which barreled into Charleston, South Carolina , in 1989.

Governor Manuel Mamba of the Philippines island of Cagayan said officials would start evacuating islanders on Thursday.

Typhoon Mangkhut is expected to bring heavy rains and flooding along the northern coastal provinces of Cagayan and Batanes. Almost 48,000 houses in those high-risk areas are made of light materials and vulnerable to Mangkhut's ferocious winds.

The Office of Civil Defence said other northern provinces also started evacuating residents Thursday from high-risk areas, including in northern mountain provinces prone to rain and mudslides. Mangkhut has already passed over Guam where power outages and torrential wind and rain impacted the small island.

In its 11 a.m. tropical cyclone advisory, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the typhoon which will be named "Ompong" once it enters PAR is last observed at 1,845 kilometers east of southern Luzon as of 8 a.m. The Philippines has been trying to cope with rice shortages.

The Philippines is hit by about 20 typhoons and storms a year.

It is drawing comparisons with Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated central areas of the archipelago nation in 2013, killing 6,300 people.

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